Cost and Performance Enhance Research Efforts
Lithium batteries have become a popular power source for consumer electronic devices. Lithium batteries offer several advantages over other types of secondary batteries, including lighter weight and higher energy density. They’re ideal for portable electronic devices such as notebook computers, and offer a great advantage to consumers in the emerging hybrid electric vehicle industry.
As battery developers work to create larger lithium-ion batteries, they are faced with three main challenges: safety, cost, and calendar life. Argonne National Laboratory’s Material Science Division set out to create better lithium batteries, but needed to harness the power of a large cluster to make it happen.
Advanced Clustering Technologies worked with Argonne to design a high-performance computing system with the horse power they needed to further develop their lithium products at a price they could afford. The result — a 46-node Intel-based Apex cluster.
Following their cluster installation, Argonne was able to take its studies to the next level. The high-performance computing cluster is now providing Argonne with new insight into the energetics, dynamics and structure of new materials at the molecular level. State-of-the-art quantum chemical methods are being developed for accurate energy calculations that have applications in modeling chemical vapor dispositions reactions, combustion reactions, catalysis mechanisms, and atmospheric chemistry. These and other methods are being applied to the investigations of new materials such as nanocrystalline diamond, polymer electrolytes for use in lithium batteries, diblock copolymers, and near frictionless carbon films. Studies are also being carried out on surface reactions, including reaction mechanisms of diamond-thin film growth, catalytic reaction mechanisms in zeolites, and electrode/electrolyte interfaces important in corrosion.
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